Sachin Tendulkar did not play much of domestic cricket but was able to make his mark for the time that he did. He has the rare achievement of scoring centuries while on debut in all of the major First-class tournaments that he has took part in. He has produced many game changing performances in the domestic circuit.
Here is a look at his top 5 batting efforts.
5. 199 vs East Zone (Duleep Trophy, Pune, 2001)
He hit 30 fours and 4 sixes in this innings that spanned just 214 balls and toyed with all the bowlers that the opposition deployed to bowl to him. Sachin was part of a 100-plus partnership with Hrishikesh Kanitkar and a 200-plus stand with Vinod Kambli (who also got a hundred). Tendulkar started off in a slow fashion but accelerated later on. West Zone (captained by Tendulkar) put on 656 on the board and the East Zone were never able to get near this mammoth total, and were dismissed below 200 in both innings. Sairaj Bahutule took a hat-trick for the West Zone in the 2nd innings, who eventually won the game by an innings and 363 runs. The West Zone dismissed East twice on the same day of the match.
4. 140 and 139 vs Punjab (Ranji Trophy, Mumbai, 1995)
Though the final result was a draw, this game will be remembered for one in which Tendulkar was in fine touch. He got a brilliant 140 in the 1st innings (which also saw three other centurions) and he came back in the 2nd innings to score 139, the top scorer in the innings this time. Bombay scored in excess of 500 both times, as a result of which, the last innings target for Punjab was a staggering 832 runs, to which they replied with 141/2 after which the game time was over.
3. 100* vs Gujarat (Ranji Trophy, Mumbai, 1988)
This was Sachin’s first first-class ton, and it came on his Ranji debut. This was the beginning of the era of Sachin Tendulkar that would end only 25 years later with another brilliant Ranji innings of 79, which would lead to Mumbai winning over Haryana. It was the announcement to the world that Sachin had arrived and what they had just seen (a Sachin hundred), they would be delighted seeing a 100 times more. Mumbai scored a huge total of 394 in response to Gujarat’s 140 in the 1st innings. The game was a draw finally.
2. 204* vs Australia (Australia in India, Mumbai, 1998)
Mumbai gave a huge setback to the Australians with a 10-wicket win in this game that was played ahead of the Test series between India and Australia. Sachin played a captain’s knock as he left the pitch not out after a blazing double century that ousted the visitors completely from the game with a lead of 105 after the 1st innings. They did not do well to return in the 2nd innings either, as they slumped to 135 all out, leaving Mumbai just 31 runs in the last innings. Australia, who declared their 1st innings at 305/8 would never have expected such a turn of events, but with Tendulkar, you can never tell. He took just 192 balls for his innings that consisted of 25 fours and 2 sixes, and was involved in a 152-run partnership with A Muzumdar and a 97-run one with R Sutar.
1. 233* vs Tamil Nadu (Ranji Trophy, Mumbai, 2000)
This game Mumbai clinched by 8 wickets and thus won the semi-finals in style. The main reason that that happened was the Little Master, who got his highest First-class score after Tamil Nadu had set the stage for a tough fight with a first innings total of 485. Mumbai replied with 490, thanks to Sachin’s double ton that featured 21 fours and 5 sixes. Tamil Nadu were not able to come with good batting the 2nd time around, as they managed only 171 which Mumbai easily chased down. Sachin easily pierced all gaps that were to be found on the field and gave a tough time to all the bowlers who simply didn’t know what to bowl at him.
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